Queen Latifah is sadly in mourning today.
The long-time artist and actress lost her mother, Rita Owens, on Wednesday, following a very long struggle with a heart condition.
In memory of the person to whom she was closest, Queen Latifah has submitted an emotional and heartfelt statement to People Magazine.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” wrote Latifah, adding:
“Anyone that has ever met her knows what a bright light she was on this earth.
"She was gentle, but strong, sweet, but sassy, worldy but pragmatic, a woman of great faith and certainly the love of my life.”
A former Academy Award nominee, Latifah is the executive producer of The Rap Game and many other television programs.
But she'll always be her mother's daughter, first and foremost.
“She had struggled with a heart condition for many years and her battle is now over,” Latifah continued.
“I am heartbroken but know she is at peace. Thank you for your kindness, support and respect for our privacy at this time.
"Much Love, Dana Owens (aka Queen Latifah), forever Rita Owens’ daughter.”
Late Wednesday night, the star shared a video of a photograph of her mother with the caption, “143,” which translates to “I love you.”
She also talked about her bond with her mom back in September, while promoting the film Girls Trip in another interview with People.
“I’ve just learned how much you can love a person and just how strong my mother is,” she said at the time. “I’ve come to respect her in ways you can’t even imagine.”
Owens lived with her condition for years due to medication, a defibrillator in her chest and a special diet.
The latter was low in salt and fat, yet heavy on vegetables.
Latifah also said of her mother:
"I watched her come through so many things, ups and downs, hospitalizations – I mean really being in the ICU for that matter – you know, going through tough times and watching her come back and bounce back and still maintain this sense of humor, and love and drive and will."
“I just love her so much more, I respect her so much more. She really just gives me hope for life and the world."
Back in 2015, Latifah said she often stayed at her mother's home in New Jersey and concluded that her mom's health helped her put everything in proper perspective:
"Whatever some tabloid printed means nothing, money doesn’t mean anything, work is great – I work so that I can take care of my family – but the family is the most important thing."
We send our thoughts to Queen Latifah during this difficult time.